Professor Greg Lloyd is an emeritus professor of urban planning and was head of the School of the Built Environment at the University of Ulster until his retirement last month. His previous roles include senior urban planning positions at University of Liverpool and the University of Dundee. Professor Lloyd graduated in economics from University of Sheffield in 1974 and followed up with an MSc in rural and regional resources planning at University of Aberdeen two years later.
Q. What are your objectives in your current role and how are you measured against them?
As an emeritus professor I continue to supervise PhD students and continue to write and research. Even though I now live in Scotland I am an ambassador for the University of Ulster and a form of measurement of performance is attendance at conferences. I have never been busier. I'm just back from a conference in Boulogne and am soon off to Inverness to speak at a Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) conference.
Q. What key lessons have you learned during your career that help you to fulfil those objectives?
A Be stoic. Being trained in economics can make you pessimistic about economic contexts in planning and development – I never believed the last boom was real, and it wasn't – yet I've always believed planning is important in addressing key issues, so taking a measured, stoic view can help.
Be thorough. You won't achieve much without thoroughness and application. A department head once told me I was 'assiduous and convivial' – I took it as a great compliment.
Be contrary. It comes with maturity and confidence but there is a place from time to time for being a contrarian. The most commonly asked question is is 'how do we do it?' when it should perhaps be 'why do we do it?'